Improve Lessons with Case Studies

Susan Salvo will lead the session Improve Lessons With Case Studies at the AMTA 2015 Schools Summit, February 12-13, in Tampa, Florida.  Attendees will learn how to use cases studies, role-model guided-discussions, and how to use specific case studies in their own classrooms. Read a preview of the class by Susan below.

What is a case study?

A case study is a well-written story that expresses a clinical or ethical dilemma. Case studies are engaging, interactive, and create high-quality and meaningful learning experiences for students.

How will they help my students?

Case studies prepare students for real life situations that they are likely to encounter in their practices. Because case studies are problem-based, they help students develop valuable clinical reasoning skills. Students learn to apply the knowledge acquired during your lectures, course assignments and their own self-motivated study. Students also learn how to draw on other disciplines such as law, economics, ethics, history, philosophy or psychology to help them solve a case and choose the most appropriate course of action. Case studies also teach students how to adjust the strengths of their conclusions with the strengths of available evidence.  

Are case studies really that important?

Yes. Students learn that situations can be handled in many ways and each decision holds its own unique consequence. The mark of a professional is to think ahead and weigh the risks and benefits of each clinical decision before taking action. Students also learn to identify different stakeholders that might be affected by certain actions and possible conflicts of interest between stakeholders. I think the most important aspect of case-based learning is that students develop metacognition skills which includes evaluating one's own cognitive or thinking processes and identifying  one's biases.

Another important aspect of case studies is that they remind students, even after they leave the classroom, that they are surrounded by a robust learning community. This group of diverse individuals is a wonderful resource for students. One of the questions you will learn to ask students during case study discussions is, “Whom can you turn to for advice?” This reminds students that many decisions are made by soliciting the counsel of others.

Are case studies and case reports the same thing?

No. A CASE STUDY is a story about a dilemma. A CASE REPORT describes a case of a single client, which intervention was used to meet a therapeutic objective, and the results or therapeutic outcome of the case. Case reports are part of anecdotal evidence and can be used to inform future research studies.

What can I expect to learn at the AMTA Schools Summit?

Lots! You will learn effective ways to present a case, how to facilitate discussions of the case, how to close a case, and how to use case studies as assignments or online discussions. I will also teach you how to write case studies and give you case studies I have written. You can start using case studies as soon as you are back in your classroom!

Will there be any practice sessions?

Yes. We will do two practice sessions. The first will be a classroom discussion of a case that involves a student. The second will be small group discussions of a case that involves a client. Both classroom discussions and small group discussions are the most common formats used to present case studies.

What is your educational background?

I have been teaching for over 30 years and I am passionate about massage therapy and massage education. I am a life-long learner and perpetual student and acquired a master’s degree in instructional technology and currently working on a doctorate degree in educational leadership. I conduct continuing education workshops around the country and case studies are my favorite way to teach. I strive to create an educational environment of inquiry, discovery and engagement. Looking forward to seeing you at the School Summit! 

Read more about Susan's session and reserve your place at the Schools Summit today!

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"I am very glad to be aligned with a professional organization that gives so much to its members."

Satu F., AMTA member since 2003